Honey for Dogs (and other pets)?

There are a number of “people foods’ that shouldn’t be fed to your pet. Is honey for dogs one of them? We know that honey is a delicious sweetener that’s popular with people. According to the U.S. Honey Board, Americans consumed 450 million pounds of honey in 2013.  Most of it is used to sweeten and flavor foods and drinks. But not just for that.

People interested in natural healing have always recognized the benefit of using raw honey for medicinal purposes. Raw honey is pure, unheated, unpasteurized and unprocessed. Honey’s anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties help speed up healing and get rid of infection.  Honey is believed to be a natural and ideal way to soothe sore throats, to speed up the healing of burns or infectious wounds. Honey has been used by people around the world since ancient times because of its benefits.  The ancient Greeks and Romans spoke of the medicinal value of raw honey in the literature they left behind.

Honey for Dogs?

Many of us have given in when our pet has looked at us with their big eyes and begged us for food.  ‘Can a little bit of food from my table really hurt them?’ we’ve wondered.  When it comes to raw honey, there are some pets that can savor this sweet treat in moderation, and others that really just shouldn’t.  Here’s a rundown of some popular pets and which ones can dabble with a taste of honey. Is there a pet type you’d like to add to this list? Have you fed honey to your pet? Share your story in the comments section below.

  • Dogs

    Dogs really enjoy the taste of raw honey.  A taste of honey as an occasional treat is fine. According to vetinfo.com, local honey can be used to help treat allergies triggered by pollen. A small amount given each day. The honey has to be from local hives so that it contains small amounts of the local pollen that are causing your pet’s allergies. The honey will help relieve some of your pet’s allergies.  So, yes, it is fine to set aside some honey for dogs. That said, feeding your pet more than one teaspoon of honey each day can impact their health negatively. This is because dogs and cats are carnivores and have teeth and a digestive system evolved for eating meat, not sweets. Too much honey can also result in tooth decay and in extra calories that lead to obesity.

  • Guinea Pigs:

    According to Guinea Pig Heaven, a guinea pig cages site, guinea pigs should not be fed raw honey, although honey is being used as a flavoring for a growing number of guinea pig snacks.  Their article, Can my guinea pigs eat honey?, talks about feeding guinea pigs honey but also about using honey as dressing for wounds or scratches.

  • Cats

    Just as with dogs, an occasional taste if fine but too much raw honey can can lead to obesity and dental problems.  Honey is find as an occasional treat and n small amounts.  However, cats don’t need extra sugar in their diet.  Interestingly, diluted honey is sometimes suggested by vets to lure cats into eating crushed medication when they refuse to eat.

  • Birds

    You can feed raw honey to birds like parrots and budgies. In the wild, birds eat honey. Birds can digest honey, which is why stores sell honey sticks for birds. However, since raw honey is very sweet and full of sugars (as well as trace minerals, enzymes and other beneficial ingreditents), it’s best not to feed your bird too much of it. It can promote too much weight gain, not to mention sometimes birds get honey on themselves, which makes their feathers sticky. On The Parrot Forum, a parrot owner tells this story about how her parrot ate foods it normally wouldn’t eat when they had honey on them (click the image below to see the post):